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Germany: Cologne, the Kolumba Museum, a centre of culture, art and spirituality, turns ten

Particolare del museo Kolumba di Colonia

The celebrations for the tenth anniversary of the great “Kolumba” Museum of the archdiocese of Cologne are in full swing. Founded in 2007 at the resolve of the then archbishop, the recently died cardinal Joachim Meisner, in just ten years the Kolumba Museum has turned into an attraction and a place to share ideas about art, and not just sacred art. Designed in bold modern forms, with brick walls, by the great Swiss architect Peter Zumthor, the Kolumba Museum is as much a venue for exhibitions and contemporary installations as a place to meet and preserve historical memories: the museum has been built on top of the vestiges of the old church of Kolumba, built in 980 and bombed down during World War II. For its tenth anniversary, on Thursday September 14th, and in the run-up to the preparations for the 2018 expos, the Museum will be treating its visitors to an unusual experience: it will show up without any of its furnishings, paintings and statues, exposing its “spiritual structures”. Stefan Kraus, director of the Museum, points out that “many visitors remember what has happened here in ten years, and they make up their own imaginary museum, with their mind’s eye, layer after layer”. This is confirmed by the 60 thousand visitors and students who stop in the Kolumba Museum every day, not least to pray and experience moments of spirituality: religious services are regularly held in the ground-floor chapel.

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